To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines

By Judith Newman
Star Rating

Rated by Lisa J.
Oct 26, 2017

Beginning when Gus and his twin brother were born and continuing to the present, Newman shares her sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always insightful and upbeat recollections of their lives. She touches on many of the issues with autism, but To Siri With Love is not a "how to" book. It is a positive, yet honest look into one family's journey with autism, and among others, how technology, especially Siri, is helpful to Gus. Most helpful is Siri's ability to talk with Gus ad nauseam about whatever he is interested in at the time, be it trains and train schedules, erosion, or climate change

Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World

By Sabina Berman

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Dec 20, 2016

Isabelle comes back to her family home after the death of her sister to find an autistic savant growing up in her sister's home. She teaches the girl, Karen, how to function in the world. Karen learns how to interact with the whole, not only through her aunt's patience, but also through the animals with whom she shares a special connection. Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World is Karen's story. She goes out into the world to gain the knowledge to, eventually, take over the family's failing tuna cannery. Her intelligence and her connection with animals leads her to create the first "humane"

Finding Kansas: Living and Decoding Asperger's Syndrome

By Aaron Likens
Star Rating

Rated by Hope H.
Feb 6, 2015

What began as an exercise to work through daunting experiences would eventually become this powerful collection of essays about understanding Asperger Syndrome. Finding Kansas captures Aaron Likens' introspective journey from awkward early teens to roller-coaster 20s and onward to an empowering future.

To Aaron, Kansas represents a place where he is safe and confident. (Believe it or not, he's not from Kansas.) He was diagnosed with Aspeger's as a young man, so writing became a way for him to tease out how the disorder had played a role in his early behaviors and interactions. He analyzes

The Reason I Jump

By Naoki Higashida

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Apr 28, 2014

Naoki Higashida is a thirteen-year-old boy with autism so severe that he cannot speak aloud.  But using an alphabet grid, he--letter by letter--has composed this missive from the depths of autism, revealing that a clever mind and keen perception lie behind the limits of his disorder.  Higashida approaches the topic through a series of questions, like "What's the worst thing about having autism?" and "Is it true that you hate being touched?"  His answers are illuminating and occasionally heart-breaking, like this one: "The hardest ordeal for us is the idea that we are causing grief for other

The Asperkids Launch Pad

By Jennifer Cook O'Toole
Star Rating

Rated by Lisa J.
Apr 11, 2014

O’Toole, award winning author of Asperkids and The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules, a social worker, teacher, mother of three Asperkids and an Aspie herself, has developed a “how-to” guide for parents of children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) on how to best structure their home life to support their AS kids.  O’Toole’s instructional manual demonstrates the importance of structuring the home life and everyday tasks (or chores) around the house so that children with AS can feel confident, successful and comfortable thus reducing their stress and building self-esteem.  This visual

May 28, 2013

“Today I moved to a twelve acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.”  Al Capone Does My Shirts is set in 1935 on Alcatraz where Capone is an inmate working in the prison laundry. Moose tells how he and his family end up on Alcatraz so that Natalie, Moose’s sister, can attend the Ester P. Marinoff School for students with autism.  The story is not so much about Natalie who has autism but about her brother “Moose” and how having a sister with autism affects his life.  The family dynamic is well portrayed as is Natalie’s autism.  At the time, prison guards and

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Rated by Lisa J.
May 9, 2013

Rules for David:  If the bathroom door is closed, knock!  Say “thank you” when someone gives you a present (even if you don’t like it).  No toys in the fish tank.  These are just a few of the rules that twelve year old Catherine has written for her brother David who has autism to help him navigate the world and try to look “normal”.

Catherine wants what most twelve year old girls want: normal.  However, having a brother with autism takes a lot of “normal” out of life.  Catherine struggles with her conflicting feelings about David.  She loves him but at the same time she is embarrassed by him

May 6, 2013

Dark Eye.  Just for entertainment.  A cross between Silence of the Lambs and Rainman.  Darcy, a 25-year-old autistic savant, assists burned out and depressed police detective Susan Pulaski with solving a string of violent murders and helps catch the serial killer.  During the investigation Susan is forced to see the crimes from Darcy’s unique perspective which proves to be the key to solving them.  Bernhardt does a good job describing Darcy and his perspective which was interesting and at time quite humorous.  The setting is Las Vegas so it has a very CSI feel.  Bernhardt continues with these

May 3, 2013

Do you enjoy considering the possibilities?  With this book, set in the near future, the author, a parent of a child with autism, addresses the question “What is normal?”  What happens to those who aren’t “normal”?  It is a powerful and thought-provoking book which raises a lot of questions and provides insight into society and how we treat those who don’t meet society’s definition of “normal” and this future world’s solution.  The main character, Lou, a young man in his 30s with autism, must decide if he wants to participate in an experimental treatment that may cure his autism.  Lou

Dec 2, 2012

Jeni Decker, mother of two and independent filmmaker has found herself living a life she never imagined: raising two sons both with diagnoses on the autism spectrum, the wife of a husband who doesn’t know what to do with these boys who aren’t interested in Little League or Yankees games, a dog and an albino frog. Decker’s memoir is a laugh out loud hilarious, though often unbelievable look at her daily life and the way she has chosen to embrace the unusual and unexpected that each day brings with her boys. Decker focuses on her sons’ abilities and uniqueness rather than on their differences

Nov 19, 2012

Editors Anderson & Forman, both writers and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have compiled an anthology of essays and verse detailing experiences with ASD either as parents, teachers, advocates and therapists.  All of the contributors are experienced writers and parents of children with ASD who candidly share their journeys and life changing experiences as they navigate the world of ASD.  John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye) shares his unique insight as a person with ASD and a parent of a child with ASD in an enlightening forward to this anthology.  The contributors


By Karen Kingsbury

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Jun 14, 2011

Holden Harris has autism and is a great high school student. Holden is 18 years old and being bullied by the high school football team. Holden is happy, healthy, and loves music. The childhood friend of Ella Reynolds is a cheerleader, she is dating the popular football player, and she also sings in the play. Ella is realizing somehow she knows Holden and she saw him being picked on by the football team one day. Will Ella Reynolds take a stand and what will happen to Holden? Can she be strong and courageous?

Temple Grandin [DVD]

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 4, 2011

Temple Grandin, if you don't already know, is an autistic woman that invented a more humane way of slaughtering cows.  Her chute is a circular walk for these cows which creates little to no anxiety.  "Nature is cruel, but we don't have to be."  This movie shows the ups and downs of an autistic person trying to make her way in "normal" society and how these "normal" people treat her.  I remember seeing Temple Grandin for the first time on Oprah! and how she was so intriguing.  So when I saw that Claire Danes was portraying her in a movie, I wanted to see itand was not disappointed.

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 3, 2011

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is the 2010 National Book Award winner in the Young People’s Literature Category. It is one of the best books I have read for a long time. It tells the story of Kaitlin, an intelligent fifth grade girl with Asperger’s syndrome. Kaitlin and her father’s lives are turned upside down when Kaitlin’s brother Devon is shot in a school shooting. Kaitlin and Devon were very close and it was Devon who helped Kaitlin to “fit in”. Now Kaitlin is left with her widowed, grief-stricken father and she does not have any friends. Fortunately, Kaitlin has Mrs. Brook, an excellent